From inside prison, activist Mario Monteiro is pushing to change juvenile sentencing laws A wave of activism is sweeping the country, calling for fundamental reforms to law enforcement. But changing a single law can take years of work. Sofia Rudin introduces us to one activist who’s been pushing for change from inside prison. Listen to the NPR Story


Tre Maison Dasan is an award-winning documentary that follows three boys whose parents are incarcerated in Rhode Island–and two of the parents featured are our gardeners! Stephanie has graduated and gone on to great success. She and Dasan have been traveling to film festivals to discuss the movie, she was selected as a New Leaders Council fellow, and she wrote a children’s book to help children of incarcerated parents understand they are not alone. The Resilient Mr. Ball is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. She joined the Garden Time board in 2020. We are so proud of Stephanie and her accomplishments! Watch Tre Maison Dasan on Amazon Prime.


Tyree was in the Garden Time to Work program. Watch Tre Maison Dasan on Amazon Prime.


“I feel a sense of calm and joy when I’m about to go out there and when I’m there. It’s different from other programs because you’re out in nature.” 

“I feel at peace with myself. I’m not stressed. It’s quiet in the garden. There I make a difference, not only to the group but also to the plants I tend. It is a truly wonderful place. I wish I could share with everyone.”

“The garden has helped me calm down and be at peace with myself because in the few hours we spend in the garden I’m not in prison. I’m free. I can think clearly. I can make a difference to people by growing stuff they’ll eat. And I can nurture life to my plants. This experience taught me to be more patient in my life.” “When I work in the garden, I feel good knowing that I’m learning something that I can use to give back once I’m given a second chance.”

“I feel serene whenever I’m in the garden. If I could spend all day here I would. It’s my therapy, I get lost in my thoughts while I’m working on the tomatoes. The rest of the time and activities while incarcerated are stressful.”

“I keep coming back to the program because this program and the instructors make me feel human again. Getting dirty, pulling weeds is the next thing to ‘mental freedom’.”

“I care more about the little things. It also has shown me that a lot of things are connected together. How people, plants, insects and the elements all work together to help each other get what they need. By me seeing this and understanding my role in it, it’s allowed me to see myself in society and the different role that I have to play.”

“Not too many people give us a chance but here, in the garden, we’re just normal people, being productive, learning new skills, and bringing life to the earth.”